After a quick breakfast at a restaurant in Park Street, we went to the Howrah Bridge. We had crossed the bridge on our way to the hotel from the Howrah station, but it was a passing glimpse. This time round we had a better look at this rare engineering feat. This cantilever bridge was known as the New Howrah Bridge as it replaced the old pontoon bridge. The bridge was commissioned in 1943 and renamed in 1965 as the Rabindra Setu, after Rabindranath Tagore. It is perhaps the only bridge of cantilever make in the world as over 100,000 vehicles ply across it. It acts as a vital link between Kolkata and Howrah.
The bridge is suspended across the River Hooghly and has no pillars. Since its construction the Howrah Bridge has been an important part of the economy of the region as lakhs of people use it to cross the river and go to their places of work. Till 1993, trams used to ply on the bridge as well. But since then, it has been discontinued to prevent overloading of the bridge. Kolkata Port Trust has the responsibility for maintaining the bridge. But of late it has become a tough job due to the increasing load on the bridge. Several measures have been taken towards the conservation of the bridge. One of the efforts was the banning of trucks on the bridge.
We took a lot of photographs of the bridge from various angles. After a while we also went for a steamer ride on the River Hooghly. The Howrah Bridge looked majestic from the middle of the river. The kids were remembering the numerous movies in which the bridge was shown. In recent times, a lot of movies such as Kahaani and Barfi had numerous shots of the bridge. The breeze across the river Hooghly was soothing. The river was flowing at full speed because of the high tide. One of things that really saddened us was that many common people were spitting on the railings of the bridge. This led to corrosion of the railings. The Port Trust has been taking steps regarding this aspect as well. It was time and our last stop was Nicco Park. We took a cab for it.